Interdisciplinary training focusing on recent amendments to the criminal legal regulation on domestic violence

30 judges and prosecutors from the regional and district level and other representatives of the professional community took part in the in-person training organized by the National Institute of Justice on „Criminal and psychological aspects of domestic violence. Current issues“.

The training event was held on April 2, 2024 at the Grammy Hotel, Sofia, under the guidance of a multidisciplinary team of renowned Bulgarian and international experts and was aimed at enhancing the competence of Bulgarian magistrates to provide an effective criminal justice response to domestic violence and the protection of victims.

Diana Videva, PhD in Psychology with many years of experience in working with perpetrators and victims of domestic violence, introduced the participants to the psychological aspects of domestic and gender-based violence, the specific vulnerability of victims and the need to implement a victim-centered approach to effectively protect their rights. 

Shazia Choudhry, Professor of Law at the University of Oxford and author of a number of publications on issues related to violence against women, domestic violence and women’s access to justice, presented the Council of Europe standards and European best practices on the investigation and prosecution of domestic violence and effective case management. She stressed that a comprehensive and integrated approach to the handling of domestic violence cases and good coordination and interaction between civil and criminal justice professionals is key to the effective protection of victims.

Judge Maria Doncheva, Deputy Chairperson of the Sofia Regional Court, Criminal Division, gave an analytical overview of the recent amendments to the national legislation relevant to criminal protection from domestic violence and the current issues in cases of crimes committed in the context of domestic violence, from the perspective of applicable international standards. In her presentation, she focused on the standards of due care and the application of a victim-centred approach, which she illustrated through specific examples from the ECtHR’s jurisprudence on key cases in this field and cases against Bulgaria.

The training event was organized under the project “Preventing and Combatting Violence against Women and Domestic Violence”, implemented with the support of the Justice Programme of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014-2021, Contract № BGJUSTICE-4.001-0002/12.02.20.

© 2024 - National Institute of Justice